Heave Away

Words and music: traditional arr. Emma Beecham

There are all sorts of versions of this windlass shanty, some with more of a narrative than others. This is how we sing it.

Come get your duds in order ’cuz we’re bound to cross the water,
Heave away, me johnnies, heave away,
Come get your duds in order ’cuz we’re bound to leave tomorrow,
Heave away, me johnny boys, we’re all bound away.

Sometimes we’re bound for Liverpool, sometimes we’re bound for Spain,
Heave away, me johnnies, heave away,
But now we’re bound for old St John’s where all the girls are dancing,
Heave away, me johnny boys, we’re all bound away.

There’s some that’s bound for New York town and some that’s bound for France,
But now we’re bound for London town to teach the girls to dance.

I wrote me love a letter, I was on the Jenny Lind,
I wrote me love a letter, and I signed it with a ring.

The day was fine when we set sail, the wind was blowin’ free,
But soon afresh it blew a gale and we were far at sea.

He shook her in the morning, oh the bosun was a-bawlin’,
He shook her til the evening and the mast it was a-heavin’.

So it’s farewell Nancy darlin’, ’cos it’s now I’m gonna leave you,
You promised that you’d marry me, but how you did deceive me.